Pennsylvania residents who work in places where the same people share the same space for an extended period of time should be aware that transmission of tuberculosis is a risk that they face. This includes healthcare employees and those who work in prisons, jails, homeless and social assistance shelters and emergency shelters. The risk usually arises with a patient, prisoner or shelter client who has unrecognized TB.
Until July 23, companies in Pennsylvania and throughout the country were not cited for making good faith efforts to comply with the Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard. However, companies are now being cited for violations regardless of their efforts to comply with it. To be considered in compliance, employers must have a written silica control plan as well as evidence that it has been implemented.
Pennsylvania residents should know that the U.S. has not placed a general ban on asbestos. This toxic mineral is still found in many structures, and exposure to it can lead to serious health conditions like mesothelioma, which is a rare, aggressive and incurable disease. The World Health Organization estimates that every year, there are 105,000 to 110,000 deaths worldwide due to asbestos exposure.
Coal industry workers in Pennsylvania are protected against black lung disease by safety measures that control and monitor coal dust. But in recent decades there has been an increase in cases of black lung disease in coal workers. A new report looks at the problem and suggests ways to increase protection for workers.
When a disaster strikes in Pennsylvania, everyone relies on the first responders who come to put out fires, rescue people and provide first aid. Bad storms, floods, fires, explosions and severe crime events inflict trauma on everyone involved, and first responders often must deal with the situation for prolonged periods of time. Viewing dead and dismembered bodies takes a toll of workers' mental health. Psychologists call it traumatic incident stress, and it could require medical treatment.
According to new enforcement standards released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers will have an 8-hour time-weighted average permissible exposure threshold to respirable crystalline silica. As of June 23, 2018, a 30-day provisional period will begin, during which employers can receive compliance assistance. Pennsylvania companies will not be punished for violations if they are making a good faith effort to enforce new standards.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report saying that cases of insect-borne illness have more than tripled between 2004 and 2016. This should concern outdoor workers in Pennsylvania since they are among those singled out by the CDC as being at a particularly high risk for these illnesses.
While many Pennsylvania workers know that excessive exposure to loud noise in the workplace can cause hearing loss, the effects of a noisy workplace can extend far beyond a worker's ears. One study produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found a strong link between noisy, loud workplaces and high blood pressure and high cholesterol among frequently exposed workers. In some cases, the noisy workplaces themselves were found to be responsible for these conditions, which pose a major risk of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading killer of people across the United States.
Crystalline silica dust is a respiratory hazard that many workers in Pennsylvania have to face, such as those in the construction and mining industries. Approximately 2.3 million Americans are exposed to it daily, and many develop conditions like lung cancer and kidney disease as a result. In 2013, OSHA instituted the first safety rules for working around the mineral as well as the penalties for failing to follow them.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease usually affecting the lungs or larynx and caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that easily spreads in areas where many people are together for long periods of time. This includes everything from hospitals to prisons, jails and homeless shelters. Residents of Pennsylvania should know what the dangers are and what can be done after a TB diagnosis.